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Venice: culture feeds the hotel industry

The 56th Venice Art Biennale and the 72nd edition of the Mostra are breathing new life into the city's hotel industry, which reported double-digit growth in 2015. Culture has always been a driving power for tourism in the Serenissima.

In 2015, tourism in Venice has followed beat of cultural festivals. A few months after the opening of the 56th Venice Art Biennale, September was marked by the 72nd edition of the Venice film Festival. Two major international events that stimulated business for hoteliers.

While it took place August 27 to September 2, 2014, the Venice International Film Festival was held from September 2 to 12 this year. Business at hotels in Venice in September thus benefited from this longer time period, as shown by data published by MKG Hospitality. On the period, occupancy at properties progressed by 3.7 points to come close to 90% occupancy rate. To this may be added 20.8% net growth in the average daily rate, which surpassed 268 euros, resulting in no less than 26% growth in the Revenue per available room (RevPAR).



Change in hotel performances in Venice
since the beginning of the year



The Mostra is not the only factor behind the dynamism of Venice's hotel activity in September as the 2015 edition of the Venice Art Biennale has been running in the city since May 9 and will continue until November 22. The impact of the cultural event schedule on the sector's performances could be felt from its opening and contributes to the maintenance of growth that continued in the next four months. While the trend was mostly mixed on the sector at the beginning of 2015, with the occupancy rate impacted by a few important openings in 2014* (particularly the Saint Regis property on the Island of San Clemente and the DoubleTree hotel on the mainland*), since May the opening of the Biennale boosted hotel occupancy. Its effects were particularly beneficial to average daily rates and allowed growth in the RevPAR by 26% and even more in certain months.

Venice's cultural effervescence in 2015 has influenced tourism and hotel performances since the beginning of the year. According to data from the Agency promoting tourism of the province of Venice, the city thus hosted some 6.5 million visitors between January and August. While the growth in arrivals in the city had limited impact on occupancy rates because of the significant growth in supply, the strong growth in average daily rates nonetheless drove results up. While the occupancy rate grew by 0.8 points on the first nine months of the year, the average daily rate leaped by 16.7%, resulting in 18% growth in the RevPAR. Given that the city had succeeded in maintaining a steady RevPAR in 2014 (-0.6%*) despite the absence of the Biennale, Venice clearly benefits from its cultural dynamism to cultivate growth of its tourism.

*This data is from the European Hospitality Report 2015 (complete 2015 ranking of hotels in Venice, evolution of the supply 2015/2014, and annual activity reports - consult

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